COPROLOGICAL PREVALENCE AND INTENSITY OF GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES IN HORSES IN SOME ROMANIAN STUDS: PRELIMINARY DATA
Published in AgroLife Scientific Journal, Vol. II, Number 1
Written by Mariana IONIŢĂ, Marius Cătălin BUZATU, Violeta ENACHESCU, Ioan Liviu MITREA
Gastrointestinal parasites are a significant threat to health of horses and can cause irreparable internal damage as fifty percent of the deaths in horses may be related to internal parasites. In Romania, despite of the importance of horses in various activities (agriculture, sport, or as companion animal), knowledge and research studies on equines are sparse and fragmentary. Therefore, the present study aimed to provide an insight into the internal parasite burdens in Romanian horses, using coprological examination. A total of 158 horses from the breeds Shagya Arabian (n= 90) and Lipizzan (n= 68) residing at two studs, one in the northeastern and the second one in the center Romania were included in the study. Fresh fecal samples collected in September - November 2012, were analyzed for presence of gastrointestinal parasites using sodium chloride flotation technique, and additionally, for a subset of 56 samples, fecal worm eggs counts (FWECs), described as the number of eggs per gramme (epg) of feces, were determined using McMaster method. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasites eggs and oocyst in the positive horses were: strongyles 87.97 % (139/158) Parascaris equorum 13.9 % (22/158), Strongyloides westeri 5.06% (8/158), and Eimeria leuckarti 1.90 % (3/158). One hundred eleven positive horses (79.85%) were infected with a single parasite type, 27 (19.42%) and 1 (0.72%) of horses had multiple infections with two and three parasites, respectively. The highest prevalence and intensity rate belonged to strongyles, with the EPG counts varying from 25 to 3800, while for ascarids the EPG values varied from 75 to 1200. These findings emphasize high rate of infection with gastrointestinal parasites in Romanian horses, particular with strongyles, and will be the basis for further in-depth studies on the epidemiology and control of the equine parasites in Romanian horses.